Planning a pet gathering doesn’t have to be stressful! Check out these adorable dog party ideas that include fun themes, cute decorations, and thoughtful presents and gifts to make the pup’s tail wag with joy.
Having a party for your dog can be a great way to show your love and appreciation for his companionship. Inviting his furry friends from the park, other dogs in the neighborhood and of course all the pet parents can be the beginning of a wildly fun time. This post is all about best dog party ideas of 2023.
One of the reasons I wanted to get this content out before Thanksgiving is so you can use them for Christmas party ideas for your dog and his friends, as well as birthday, Valentine’s Day and ‘just because’ I am a dog lover celebration. They will work for any canine celebration!
You really do not need a special event to host a dog party, but it sure can make your planning easier to have some sort of theme.
Location Ideas for a Dog Party
Before we jump into the different themes and dog party ideas, be sure to consider your location!
Location is key and will set the stage for your theme, number of guests and games you will be playing.
- Your backyard or a friend’s backyard: This is a convenient and cost-effective option. You can decorate the space with dog-themed decorations and set up a small agility course for the dogs to play on.
- A dog park: This is a great option if your dog loves socializing with other dogs. Make sure to check if the park allows parties and bring plenty of water and treats for the pups.
- A dog-friendly beach: If you live near a beach that allows dogs, it can be a fun location for a party. Bring plenty of toys and make sure to clean up after your dogs.
- A pet-friendly restaurant: Some restaurants allow dogs on their patios or outdoor spaces. This can be a fun option for a smaller party with close friends and their dogs.
- A doggy daycare or boarding facility: Some facilities offer party packages for dogs. This can be a great option if you’re looking for a larger space with plenty of amenities for the dogs.
Remember to always prioritize the safety and comfort of the dogs at the party. Provide plenty of water and shade, keep an eye on the dogs’ behavior, and have a plan for cleaning up any messes. Have fun!
I will explore several different ideas so you have plenty of material to work with and create your own special dog party.
DOG PARTY IDEAS:
1. Send Out Dog Friendly Invitations
Getting prepared for your dog party with a timeline and schedule will help keep everything organized and ready. I suggest getting your timeline set-up at least a month (possibly a few months for bigger parties) in advance. One of the reasons to pull together a timeline in advance is to get your invitations in the mail or by email (text etc.). You will want your guests to have enough time to put your pup’s party on their calendar.
Getting invites into your guests hands will also motive them to RSVP in enough time for you to plan how many people and dogs will be attending. Knowing your head and tail count is so important! While having a few left overs at any event is nice, the last thing you want is to run out of toys and food; especially dog snacks.
If you have a particular breed dog, it could be nice to send out invitations that include dogs that look like him. I prefer a variety of dogs myself, but I might be tempted to have a photo of my dog front and center on the invite.
If you opt to customize your own digital party card, Blue Mountain has CREATACARD™ which is very easy. I use Blue Mountain and can 100% recommend them.
Amazon has several dog invitations to choose from and this one barked at me. It is so cute and I love how all the dogs look a little different.
2. Have A Drop Off Gifts Table
Recreate this dog party idea:
Having a gift table for your dog is super important, but what is even more important is letting your guests know in advance what is expected.
Some people opt for making a small donation to a local shelter instead of a gift, where others love the idea of their pet receiving toys, clothes and other dog essentials.
Amazon literally has a registration program (free) that you can use to make a list of everything your dog wants for his party (if it is a party that guests bring gifts). I personally love this idea because it totally takes the guesswork out of expectations. I mention this exact Amazon idea in a poodle dog birthday party post too.
So assuming you are having gifts, it is always a good idea to have a drop off location. This will keep everything in one location and give allow your guests to free up their hands.
3. Have A Dog Inspired Backdrop For Photo Taking
Recreate this dog party idea:
If you are having a ’real’ dog party at your home or you rented out a place, having a backdrop is a dog party essential! Who doesn’t love to have a picture of their pup taken?
Having a backdrop does not need to be expensive. There are very reasonable ones on Amazon and you can totally just make your own! The key is making sure everything fits into the view of a camera lens ahead of time. Take a few photos with your dog in front of the backdrop before the pawty to make sure the entire scene is captured.
3. Make Or Buy A Dog Cake
Yes, they totally have dog friendly cakes on the market now. You can also make a dog shaped people cake. Either way, you will have Instagram photos for sure!
Bubba Rose Biscuit Co. on Amazon makes a variety of dog cakes, you should totally check them out if you are thinking of getting one.
4. Have A Pup Cake Table
Along the same lines as a traditional cake is serving up pupcakes that are dog-friendly. You may think pupcakes are only for birthday, but honestly you can get any holiday or special event in dog-friendly cupcakes. Either make them yourself and decorate them in accordance as the theme, order them from your bakery or simply grab a few boxes from Amazon.
5. Raffle Off Disposable Cameras
Giveaway OR raffle off disposable cameras for folks to snap pictures at the event!
The key to raffling them is to have them front and center as SOON as the guests arrive so they can take pictures immediately. As soon as they buy a raffle ticket, they get a camera. Then at the end of the pawty, draw a name for a prize. You can either pocket the cash to help you cover pawty expenses or give to your favorite animal non-profit organization.
6. Dog Shaped Charcuterie Boards
Yes, they do have them.
The dog party snack ideas are endless with these.
You can do people friendly food on them too.
7. Dog Shaped Cookies
They have dog shaped cookies everywhere it seems. Check your local grocery store for people friendly ones, or even on line. I love to make a batch myself, so cookie cutters shaped as dogs are what I would go with.
8. Fire Hydrant Potty Station
The pups will need to pee, and having a designated area will make it easier to clean up. Using a fire hydrant can help guide guests where they can take their dogs for doo doo.
9. Dog Fountain Water Station
Using a dispenser will eliminate you having to constantly refill the doggy bowl.
If you do want to use dog bowls instead, consider big plastic containers so they won’t break if the dogs knock them over. I like the Neater Pet plastic bowl. It is huge and can handle big dogs. My neighbor has one and he loves it. His dogs are big.
10. Have A Costume Competition
Dogs in costume are so cute, and if you have a competition do not forget to have prizes. There can be several types of winners (cutest, most creative, funniest etc.).
11. How Many Bones In The Jar Giveaway
Recreate this dog party idea:
Put out a jar of bones, whoever guesses closes to the amount in the jar gets to keep the jar.
12. Invite Local Pet Store Vendors
Invite your local pet store and they will also probably bring swag to hand-out!
Encourage them to bring any items they have in stock they want to sell for a flash sale at your dog party.
13. Invite Doggy Daycare To Host A Table
Encourage a doggy daycare to come to the event and man a table. They will love the opportunity to get in front of pet parents and talk about their centers.
See if they will offer specials or coupons to your guests. If you know the details in advance, you can include them in your invitations.
14. Invite Local Pet Rescue
Depending where your event is and how much space you have, you can invite a local vendor to come and talk about their organization. This can give prospective pet adopters the chance to ask questions and find out what type of potential pets are currently available.
If the rescue cannot attend you can just lay pamphlets out and fliers to provide good content to animal lovers.
15. Hang Puppy Pictures On A Love Display
Creating a collage of your dog from the time he was adopted to now is a great visual story. If you have photos of him and the other attendees, be sure to pin them up as well!
Amazon has a wide range of supplies to help you do this.
16. Have Hats And Accessories For A Photo Shoot
Provide fun costume accessories for the dogs and people to wear and get some fun photos.
When you post them up on Instagram, you will be so glad you did this!
17. Have Dog Snack Boxes As Party Favors
Party favors feel so good to hand-out as a thank you to guests. Dog snacks come in colorful bags and boxes, there are so many to choose from!
These are my favorites.
18. Have Adorable Dog-Friendly Cake Toppers
Oh my gosh, these are adorable! If you make your own cake, these can go on the top.
19. Have A Wagon Filled With Dog Toys
I love this idea, and if you have kids you probably have a plastic wagon you can use! Or maybe a neighbor has one you can borrow?
My neighbor uses an outdoor pool to keep her dog’s toys in and I gotta tell ya’, it works great! This can be used indoors or outdoors. Just fill up a pool with a bunch of toys and let the dogs pick out what they want!
Recreate this dog party idea:
DOG PARTY IDEAS Q&A
What games do dogs play together?
The main purpose of throwing a dog party is to give your pup a chance to enjoy other dogs and people. Dogs have a knack of making their own fun as long as you give them some attention. Dogs with other dogs tend to be fine chasing each other around so by nature, they are their own entertainment.
If you are having your dog party outdoors, you can set up an area for them to play fetch. Literally have a bag of tennis balls in the yard. People can take turns tossing and the dogs can fetch all day long.
Having dog music playing is also a fun way to entertain the dog parents. Among the ones you might have are ”Who Let The Dogs Out”, “You Ain’t Nothing But A Hound Dog”, and anything by Snoopy and the Peanuts.
The pool or wagon filled with dog toys will give them alot of good exercise. People can take turns encouraging them by throwing balls etc., but it probably won’t take much.
How do you make a dog party good and fun?
The key to throwing a memorable dog party is planning and photos. Be sure you have all the games and snacks planned out in advance. Use dog-friendly decorations and provide ways for people to take a lot of pictures. If you do not offer disposable cameras at the party, be sure to offer to take photos with other people’s camera. This way everyone has good party content to share on social media.
What do you serve at a dog party?
When planning your food and beverage at a dog party, you need to remember to provide for both dogs and people.
I suggest having different tables for each so the dogs are less tempted to hang-around the people table. Hopefully giving them their own will be sufficient.
Having a drink cart for people is a good idea, but if it is outside, simply putting ice in a big bucket with drinks is more than enough too.
Offering the dogs their own water station is really important. If they are playing, they will need to rehydrate frequently. Be sure you can refill their bowls easily when needed.
Miniature sandwiches and other type of finger food snacks for adults are always a good offering for casual get togethers.
Summary Of Wags
There are so many options when planning something for your canines. Make sure whatever you do, it works for him and his temperament. A shy dog might prefer a long day hanging out with his BFF; you.
On the other If you are going to be planning or hosting a party for a dog in the near future, or want more dog party ideas, check out our other posts on this topic that might be useful:
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